Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
May 11, 2014
Worship 10:00 am          Sunday School 11:10am

Fourth Sunday of Easter

      “He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out... he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.”      (John 10:3-4)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)                    “Lord of the home”                    490

  Call to Worship                          Acts 2:42-47               (Common English Bible)

*Hymn                                    “Here in this place”                                          6

*Opening Prayer

  An Affirmation

  Sharing a joy, a concern, a word of testimony or praise
                                 (please be brief, and aware of God's listening presence)

   With Children       Praying for Nigerian schoolgirls                 (insert)

  Hymn                                      “He leadeth me”                                         599

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture                                  1 Peter 2:19-25                     (Good News Bible)

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory              (Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)

  Scripture                                    John 10:1-10

  Message                               Foregoing sheep (mp3)

*Hymn                          “Savior, like a shepherd lead us”                             355



*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

             A snapshot of a people, a picture with words describing the first followers of Jesus after the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost and gave birth to the church – with this we begin worship today, the fourth Sunday of Easter, which also happens to be Mother’s Day. Listen.

Acts 2:42-47 (Common English Bible)

             Sisters and brothers, let us worship with a sense of awe over what God is doing in and around us. Let us devote ourselves now to what we have received from the Lord in the Word. Let us strengthen the connections between us with the Love of Christ. Let us share with and pray for one another, empowered by the Holy Spirit. For “here in this place, new light is streaming, now is the darkness vanished away.” Rise in body or spirit and sing, #6 in your hymnal.

Opening Prayer

            You have drawn us together, O Lord. You continue to gather us in. Of course, our fervor may not match that of those initial believers long ago. If so, ignite a fire within us this morning. Our diminished sense of awe may have us too settled in our seats. If so, open our eyes to your Word and to what you are doing here and now. We may not be as open to freely share of ourselves as we should. If so, crack open our self-centered and closed hearts. We open them, just now, to you.
            Come, Lord Jesus, Lamb of God.
            Come Great Shepherd of our hearts.
            Come empowering Spirit.
                        Call us by name this hour,
                                   for in your name we have gathered.

An Affirmation
(for 2 readers)


             As an affirmation of faith on this Mother’s Day, listen to what Lori Steiner Jans, a pre-school teacher and member of the Happy Corner Church of the Brethren near Dayton, Ohio has written. May these words speak for you:

(printed on the back of the bulletin)

God brought me to life. But the arms of my mother showed me God. As I was carried and cuddled, comforted and fed, I conceived of a God who showered me with faithful love and goodness.

For thus says the Lord: ... you shall nurse and be carried on her arm, and dandled on her knees. As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you.          Isaiah 66:12b-13a (NRSV)

In my earliest years, I envisioned God to be a big, unseen being with a great, loving heart. God listened to me with vast, unseen ears and held me with enormous, unseen hands. I felt safe and secure. I felt loved. And I loved right back.

On you I was cast from my birth, and since my mother bore me you have been my God. ”           Psalm 22:10 (NRSV)

I have grown to know God in new ways over the years, discovering deeper aspects and new understandings. But the mother love I first knew has provided the strongest foundation in my relationship with God. What we offer children in formative years will shape how they first come to know God, and then set the stage for a potential connection with God later in life. And hopefully our focused attention and our faithfulness will be seen and felt, known and understood, and applied to God.

Can a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.”                Isaiah 49:15 (NRSV)

I have not forgotten the God who gave me birth. Because of my mother, I have known God and chosen to model my life in this loving faithfulness and goodness.

Lori Steiner Jans

Happy Corner Church of the Brethren, Clayton, Ohio
teacher at Main Street Preschool, Tipp City, OH
co-creator of Wee Wonder curriculm
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series

With Children
Praying for Nigerian schoolgirls

             I have a hunch that you have heard about those schoolgirls in Nigeria who were kidnapped by some bad men last month. Am I correct? What have you heard? (get from them and use what they say in what follows)  Yes, they were taken from a boarding school at night. When I was in Nigeria, I saw girls that age at a school like the one they went to. It wasn’t that far away from where I visited. These girls are close to your age, just a few years older. Each one has a mother, who is now very sad and angry. I’m sure these girls are scared. There is something else I need to say. The majority of these girls are part of the Church of the Brethren there, just like you.

             I want us to do something very important right now. It is probably the biggest thing we can do for these girls, who are your and our sisters. We need to pray for them. In fact, our church in Nigeria is asking us to do this. On a bulletin insert (hand it out to the children and draw the congregation’s attention to it) is a list of their names, in no particular order. In a minute I will ask you children to lead us in a prayer for all these girls, some of whom are Muslim. That prayer is on the other side of the insert. It’s the 23rd Psalm made into a prayer for them.

            This week I invite each of you (children and congregation) to pick one particular name off that list. In a letter we received yesterday from our denomination, we have been asked to pray for Salomi ​Pogu every day, by name. Five other congregations will be praying specifically for her along with us. Pray that she may be found and rescued, and that God will protect and care for her until she is. In prayer, make her your sister, (to congregation) your child. Don’t stop at the end of the week, keep her in your heart… Now, children, would you start us out in this prayer for all these girls, which we will all read out loud in unison.

  Lord, you are the shepherd of these girls.
    Take care of them.
        Provide for their needs.
            Help them to sleep in peace.
                Give them good water to drink, not bad.
    As they walk through danger,
        lead them along the best paths.
            Help them not to be afraid,
                even when the way is dark
                    and bad men seek to hurt them.
            May your shepherd’s staff
                make them feel safe.
Even now, treat them to a feast,
        while their enemies watch.
    Honor them as your guest,
            wherever they are.
        Fill their cup until it overflows.
May your goodness and mercy
    be with them each and every day.
        And remind them that
            they will live forever
                in your house, Lord. Amen

 (based upon Psalm 23)

List of names (on bulletin insert)

            Deborah ​Abge, Awa ​Abge, Hauwa ​Yirma, Asabe ​Manu, Mwa ​Malam Pogu, Patiant ​Dzakwa, Saraya ​Mal Stover, Mary ​Dauda, Gloria ​Mainta, Hanatu ​Ishaku Gloria ​Dama, Tabitha ​Pogu, Maifa ​Dama, Ruth ​Kollo, Esther ​Usman, Awa ​James, Anthonia Yahonna, Kume ​Mutah, Aisha ​Ezekial, Nguba ​Buba, Kwanta ​Simon, Kummai ​Aboku, Esther ​Markus, Hana ​Stephen, Rifkatu ​Amos, Rebecca ​Mallum, Blessing ​Abana, Ladi ​Wadai, Tabitha ​Hyelampa, Ruth ​Ngladar, Safiya ​Abdu, Na’omi ​Yahonna, Solomi ​Titus, Rhoda ​John, Rebecca ​Kabu, Christy ​Yahi, Rebecca ​Luka, Laraba ​John, Saratu ​Markus, Mary ​Usman, Debora ​Yahonna, Naomi ​Zakaria, Hanatu ​Musa, Hauwa ​Tella, Juliana ​Yakubu, Suzana ​Yakubu, Saraya ​Paul, Jummai ​Paul, Mary ​Sule, Jummai ​John, Yanke ​Shittima, Muli ​Waligam, Fatima ​Tabji, Eli ​Joseph, Saratu ​Emmanuel, Deborah Peter, Rahila ​Bitrus, Luggwa ​Sanda, Kauna ​Lalai, Lydia ​Emmar, Laraba ​Maman, Hauwa ​Isuwa, Confort ​Habila, Hauwa ​Abdu, Hauwa ​Balti, Yana ​Joshua, Laraba ​Paul, Saraya ​Amos, Glory ​Yaga, Na’omi ​Bitrus, Godiya ​Bitrus, Awa ​Bitrus, Na’omi ​Luka, Maryamu Lawan, Tabitha ​Silas, Mary ​Yahona, Ladi ​Joel, Rejoice ​Sanki, Luggwa ​Samuel, Comfort ​Amos, Saraya ​Samuel, Sicker ​Abdul, Talata ​Daniel.

             Rejoice ​Musa, Deborah ​Abari, Salomi ​Pogu, Mary ​Amor, Ruth ​Joshua, Esther ​John, Esther ​Ayuba, Maryamu Yakubu, Zara ​Ishaku, Maryamu Wavi, Lydia ​Habila, Laraba ​Yahonna, Na’omi ​Bitrus, Rahila ​Yahanna, Ruth ​Lawan, Ladi ​Paul, Mary ​Paul, Esther ​Joshua, Helen ​Musa, Margret Watsai, Deborah Jafaru, Filo ​Dauda, Febi ​Haruna, Ruth ​Ishaku, Racheal Nkeki, Rifkatu Soloman, Mairama Yahaya, Saratu ​Dauda, Jinkai ​Yama, Margret Shettima, Yana ​Yidau, Grace ​Paul, Amina ​Ali, Palmata Musa, Awagana Musa, Pindar ​Nuhu, Yana ​Pogu, Saraya ​Musa, Hauwa ​Joseph, Hauwa ​Kwakwi, Hauwa ​Musa, Maryamu Musa, Maimuna Usman, Rebeca Joseph, Liyatu ​Habitu, Rifkatu Yakubu, Naomi ​Philimon, Deborah Abbas, Ladi ​Ibrahim, Asabe ​Ali, Maryamu Bulama, Ruth ​Amos, Mary ​Ali, Abigail Bukar, Deborah Amos, Saraya ​Yanga, Kauna ​Luka, Christiana Bitrus, Yana ​Bukar, Hauwa ​Peter, Hadiza ​Yakubu, Lydia ​Simon, Ruth ​Bitrus, Mary ​Yakubu, Lugwa ​Mutah, Muwa ​Daniel, Hanatu ​Nuhu, Monica Enoch, Margret Yama, Docas ​Yakubu, Rhoda ​Peter, Rifkatu Galang, Saratu ​Ayuba, Naomi ​Adamu, Hauwa ​Ishaya, Rahap ​Ibrahim, Deborah Soloman, Hauwa ​Mutah, Hauwa ​Takai, Serah ​Samuel, Aishatu Musa, Aishatu Grema, Hauwa ​Nkeki, Hamsatu Abubakar, Mairama Abubakar, Hauwa ​Wule, Ihyi ​Abdu, Hasana Adamu, Rakiya ​Kwamtah, Halima ​Gamba, Aisha ​Lawan, Kabu ​Malla, Yayi ​Abana, Falta ​Lawan, and Kwadugu Manu.

           Here is the letter:


 May 8, 2014


Dear pastor and congregation at Long Green Valley Church,


As we arrived in Nigeria a few weeks ago, we noticed that the rains had fallen in the south, in the capital, turning the countryside green. As we traveled to the headquarters of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (Ekldesiyar Yan'uwa a Nigeria, known as EYN), we noted that the country in the northeast was thy and brown—a seemingly appropriate metaphor for the political differences between the north and the south.


While we personally were safe, there was violence around us no matter where we were. On the last day of our trip there was a large car bombing in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, a mere five miles from where we were staying. On the same day, more than 200 school girls were abducted from a former Church of the Brethren school—now a government secondary school—in the village of Chibok, in Borno State. We have learned from church leaders in Nigeria that the majority of the girls are from EYN.


When asked what the American church can do at this time to be supportive, EYN leaders asked us to engage in prayer and fasting.


Over the past several years, EYN has been among the Christian and Muslim communities that have been attacked by Boko Haram, an extremist Islamic sect that carried out the abduction of the school girls. Boko Haram has been responsible for many terrorist attacks in northeastern Nigeria targeting government installations such as police stations and army barracks, as well as churches and mosques and schools, and assassinating community leaders.


Samuel Dali, EYN president, reports that 17 of the 50-plus districts of EYN have suffered from the violence, with 383 EYN members killed, 12 churches burnt down, and over 2,500 residential houses belonging to members burnt down. Prior to the kidnapping of the school girls, 15 EYN members had been abducted by Boko Haram. More than 5,000 EYN members have fled to Cameroon, Niger, and other neighboring countries, and thousands of others are internally displaced within Nigeria.


These numbers represent a mere fraction of the total Nigerian population so affected, both Christian and Muslim.


The majority of the school girls abducted from the school in Chibok were from EYN, although the group included both Muslim and Christian girls. The Church of the Brethren has been involved in Nigeria for decades, and it was the former Church of the Brethren mission that first established the school at Chibok in the late 1940s. In the mid-1970s the school was one of many turned over to become a government school.


Most of the girls abducted from Chibok were from Christian and Brethren homes, but many were from Muslim homes, and we are not making a distinction between them in our prayers. It is important for us to pray for the safety of all children. Most of the girls were between the ages of 16 and 18. The fear is that these girls are to be trafficked as "war brides" and may end up being sold across the border into surrounding countries such as Niger and Chad.


The Church of the Brethren has contributed more than $100,000 to the EYN Compassion Fund over the last year to support Nigerian Brethren families affected by the violence. But we need to do more.


In response to the request for prayer and fasting from the Nigerian church, each of our congregations in the United States is being assigned the name of one of the abducted girls, so that they may be engaged in focused prayer. Each girl will have six congregations praying for her. In addition, on an attached sheet is a list of names of the girls whom we know about at this time, received from EYN's liaison officer. The list has been published by an affiliate of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).


Your congregation is asked to pray specifically for:        Salomi Pogu


Then the Lord said, 'I've clearly seen my people oppressed. . . . I've heard their cry of injustice because of their slave master. I know about their pain (Exodus 3:7). At the 2014 Majalisa, the annual conference of the Nigerian Brethren, this verse was the theme scripture. Let it giveus inspiration to trust in our savior God, who hears our cries of distress.


Joining you in fervent prayer,           Stanley J. Noffsinger      General Secretary
                                                      Jay Wittmeyer                Executive Director for Global Mission & Service

Jay Wittmeyer also posted this on his Facebook page:

             When I was in Nigeria this past month, the Nigerian Brethren expressed to me how painful it is to tally up all the numbers of deaths, burnings, abductions, displacements, tortures, etc. and send out a report. The trauma and pain is beyond description.
            While the broader church community wants to know the details of the number of those affected by violence, for the Nigerian Brethren leadership, providing those numbers is an excruciating task. Understanding the situation is vital, but let us also be sensitive to those living through the crisis.


Pastoral Prayer


written closer to the time (if not at the moment)


Returning our Tithes and Offerings

             It’s time to return our tithes and other offerings, sharing from the abundance God has provided. If you are so moved, you are invited to honor or remember your mother or some woman who has been like a mother to you, by adding an extra gift. This will go to the Family Crisis Center. Use the manila envelopes in your pew, writing “FCC” or “Mother” on it. Let us pray.

               Heavenly Father, we seek to be the sheep of your holy pasture.  As we dedicate these offerings, help us to examine carefully the deepest recesses of our own hearts.  Guide our ways so that we may share abundantly your love and your compassion with those seeking your pasture.  We pray in the name of the Risen One.  Amen.  

prayer Copyright © 2014 David S. Bell.
Reprinted with permission from 


This week, listen for the voice of your Shepherd,
           and follow in the direction in which you are called.
      May God provide for your needs along the way.
      May the Shepherd’s staff both guide and protect you.
      May there be moments of rest and renewal
                                      as you journey,
                            times of healing and feeding,
                                      even amid uncertainty and fear.
            Know that the Lord is with you always,
                             the house of the Lord
                                      is wherever you lay your heard.
                                              Go in peace.



Interested in Sunday School?
Below is a growing list of possible sites to visit. As you discover others, please let us know.

International Lesson:
Faith and Life Resources

Mennonite Publishing House

International Lesson:
Mennonite Weekly Review

(scroll down on left to "Sunday School lessons)

International Lesson:
Christian Standard
(one week ahead)

International Lesson:
Adult Bible Studies
from The United Methodist Publishing House
(click "supplemental resources" and "current events supplement" under both the "Student" and "Teacher" sections in the left hand column)

International Lesson:
International Bible Lesson
a weekly column by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.
in "The Oklahoman" newspaper
also found

International Lesson:
Living Web Sunday School Project

While one of our adult classes follows the International lesson above (see also), using
A Guide for Biblical Studies,
published quarterly by our denomination,
another class often uses one of the
Good Ground series.

For children and youth, we use the new
Gather Round curriculum
(developed jointly by the Church of the Brethren and the Mennonite Church)


©2014 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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